I’ve tried. I gave it my all. I really did. I studied, prayed, meditated, studied more and… I give up. There is no God. Period. I say this because it’s time to be honest about it. I’ve been lying to myself (and all of you) for well over 10 years. I used the “nontraditional belief” as a ruse and excuse, but the truth is, I lost my faith in a “Father God” a long time ago. The quest I’ve been on has really been me trying to convince myself, with your help, that the God I was taught to believe in since childhood actually existed.
Yes, I enjoy the Zohar (the mystical text that serves as the foundation of Kabbalah) but that has really just served as a mystical escape from reality. I enjoy reading it because it relaxes me. Gnostic texts do as well. I don’t read them because I believe them to be true. I read them because I was searching for truth any place I could find it (the Bible alone didn’t cut it). What these mystical texts actually did was help me develop an understanding of how beliefs evolved and how the church suppressed (and extinguished) anyone who didn’t “fall in line.” I also admit that many times the Torah and Talmud have drawn me into a “belief” system of sorts, but it was the process itself that drew me in and not the subject matter. The rabbis in a way were trying to prove the unprovable and they did it in a way that I believe gave rise to the scientific method of today.
Faith is a virtue for anyone who can benefit from it in a positive way. By benefit, I mean benefit in a way that gives them a sense of comfort and joy… not financial gain. I’m not a fan of people who make a living off passing any of these myths off as actual truths. At the same time, I know many people believe what the Bible says, but I think what they believe isn’t really grounded in the text itself, but what these people tell them it says. The Bible is full of horrible stories and it glorifies a malevolent character that many believe to be a merciful Father… a character who is definitely not worthy of worship at all. If you struggle with faith, chances are you’re doing more harm to yourself than good (both psychological and financial). It’s not worth it. Rational thought and reason will bring you to the same conclusion I have once you eliminate dogmatic fears of eternal punishment.
I mean no disrespect and I am in no way trying to influence anyone to NOT believe. I have no intention of joining the anti-theist movement or attacking people or their faith. That’s a horrible thing to do. I’ve just come to the conclusion that the Quest for Light doesn’t lead to a deity. Let’s keep searching though… Light is wisdom and knowledge and we should still seek it.
I’ve spent the last couple of weeks digging back into the Torah and Talmud with an objective and academic lens. I’ve always enjoyed the stories in Genesis. I’m not saying I believe in talking snakes and donkeys or that a 500 year old man loaded a boat with 2 of every kind. It’s not necessary to believe these stories as historical events to learn from them. Instead, one can look at the various ways men and women are portrayed. (As a side note Sarah and Rebecca, are clearly more influential than their husbands. How’s that for the man inspired myth of male dominance?)
The Talmud makes so many interesting points on the incorporeal nature of god. This got me thinking about how many religions have always done the exact opposite. They’ve applied characteristics like “jealous god” or even actions like “walking in the garden” or “remembering.” How would an incorporeal spirit do this? Isn’t it more likely that the writers of these text were just personalizing god because its easier to understand when we make god like us? The Torah is a book of instructions (not just rules) and I believe Genesis does more teaching because it really does have the best stories.
Now… let’s step out of the Torah and the Talmud and look inward. We all think, act, and feel things in our own way. We tend to “think” that we know what love means, but does my concept of love align with yours? Does my sense of morality align with yours? Can you really “know” how someone else is “feeling?” Think about that for a minute. We all exist in a physical sense, but then there is that other part of us. The part that “feels” and “loves.” Whether these are merely neurons and electrons firing in certain sequences, does not take away the fact that these are actual nonphysical or visible attributes. What’s to say the universe with its numerous stars and worlds teeming with life in forms we have yet to comprehend, doesn’t also have this attribute? Wouldn’t that explain your ability to “connect” with someone you love by merely making eye contact? Wouldn’t that explain those occurrences when you are thinking of someone only to find in a phone or text conversation that they were thinking of you at the same time?
The mystery of the universe is the greatest of all mysteries and our desire to understand it and relate to it is manifested in many ways.. worship, experimentation, exploration, reverence, appreciation, and inquiry. We all try to discover that mystery in our own way. It’s how our soul interacts with the mystery, that universal soul…